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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    20

    Default The Drive to CSS

    Would someone tell me what to expect when we get off the plane. It will be a little over a 3 hour flight to get to Jamaica. I know they will pick us up to bring us to the resort and it is suppose to be about a 2 (or3?) hour drive to the resort. This is a long time. How was the drive? Did they do anything to make it enjoyable? What should we expect? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default mojo

    This is the only bad part about staying at Couples, the ride from the airport. It is a long ride. We stay at Couples Negril which I think is a half hour or more before Swept Away. It usually takes an hour and a half. They don't really do much to entertain you along the way. The driver will stop at this local roadside bar if anyone wants to get a beer. That is about it for excitement on this ride. You just have to make the best of it. Once you get to the resort though, it is all worth it!
    Have Fun!

  3. #3

    Default

    LisaD, don't get hung up over the drive, from Mobay to CSS is about 1 hr 45 min. Beautiful scenery. Also, depending on the time of day, the driver will probably make one stop for a beverage and comfort stop. We will be making our 8th trip to Couples next week and on each of the previous drives, the driver was full of very interesting information about the island, the people and the culture.

    I think that you will enjoy the ride, and the destination certainly makes it worth it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    732

    Default

    Hi LisaD,

    Once you land and get through Immigration and Customs you will see the Couples Lounge. That is where you need to be. You will check in there be offered a Red Stripe or softdrink, and within moments will be on your way to CSS. The roads to Ocho Rios are new and the drive is about 2 hours. Your driver will typically stop for the restroom and/or Red Stripe stop. Feel free to engage your driver with questions about the area, the ride to Ocho Rios takes you through Trelawny and Runaway Bay where many new resorts have recently been built.

    Once you arrive at CSS, you will be greated with a cool towel and a glass of champagne while you complete your checkin process.

    Now, relax and get ready for a very relaxing romantic trip!

    Happy Travels,
    Marie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    949

    Default

    When your flight lands you walk to immigration which is about a 5 to7 minute walk. Our average time going thru immigaration has been 10 minutes. The time depends on how many flight have recently arrived. Then you claim your luggage and go thru customs. Again how long it takes depends on how many flights are arrviving. Then you proceed to the Couples lounge which is right past customs. The lounge serves beer and soft drinks and has ladies and mens rooms. We have never waited in the lounge for transportation more then 10 minutes. Just enough time to have a drink and use the facilities.
    The ride to CSS is anywhere from 70 minutes to 100 minutes depending on if you stop and what the traffic is. They completed a new road that is now completed from the airport to CSS
    It used to be a 2 1/2 drive. If you have a good driver and most fo them are. They will point out the sights along the way. By the way the new road by passes most fo the towns downtown areas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    666

    Default

    LisaD,
    The drive to CSS is less that 2 hours and usually includes a pit stop at a local bar along the way. This gives you a chance to use the restroom, buy another Red Stripe etc. The road follows the water for the most part. If you want to see the water better, sit on the left side of the bus. We always try to sit up near the driver because I like to talk to the driver if he's up to it. Those seats are usually the easiest seats to get because most people tend to move to the rear. It's a nice drive but it does give you a real feel as to the poverty in this beautiful country.

  7. #7

    Default

    Once your plane lands and you go thru the area with your passport and forms that you fill out on the plane, next is get your luggage, and finally go thru customs. Depending on the crowd that should take 20-40 minutes. Then you go to the Couples lounge and get a red stripe, use the bathroom and get in the van to bring you to your resort. The ride takes 1.5 hrs. It is usually very interesting looking at the surroundings, or you can take a little nap. When we go our plane lands around 12:30pm, we are at Sans Souci about 3-3:30pm. Once your plane lands, you are so anxious the time flies bye.
    Once you go you know.
    Steve

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    665

    Default

    I enjoy the ride - the scenery is beautiful in some places and interesting in others. We arrive early in the morning so as we pass through the towns, kids are heading to school and there are always people out and about.
    Each time we've either been alone, or with one or two other couples.
    Have never made a stop along the way- thankfully. It's under 2hours, no we have no desire to stop when you are so close to BEING THERE.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,032

    Default

    I enjoyed the ride. Once we had a small bus and another time we had a newer small bus with a tv. They played a Bob Marley concert dvd. I love looking at the scenery and people. It's a cool way to see what Jamaica really looks like. We drove during the day too so we saw school children playing outside and a lot of businesses were open. It was really colorful and neat to see. We did stop once but I wasn't too upset about it. We didn't really buy anything other than a pop or something but it was neat. Just part of the experience.

    The airport is probably not what you are used to. I haven't been there in a few years so it might be updated, I'm not sure. It's not awful or anything, it's just small and I don't know the word here. It's not dirty or falling apart or anything but it's just not the same. The lounge is nice. They gave us a cool wash clothe which was nice because it was pretty hot.

    Don't worry about it. I just looked back at some of the photos I took during the drive and loved it. It's enjoyable because of where you are, who you are with and what you are doing. It's something you have never seen before and it's beautiful in it's own way. During the drive don't think "are we there yet?!", you already are.

  10. #10

    Default

    On the plane as you approach Jamaica, you'll be given a Customs form and an Immigration form. Make sure to have your passports and a pen in your carry-on. No matter what the flight attendant says, you will EACH need to fill both of them out. It used to be that for Customs, only one per Family needed to be filled out. However, Jamaica has changed this and at least when we were there in April, it hadn't gotten back to the flight attendants so there was a wait in customs while everyone filled out an extra form. One you get off the plane you'll be routed to Immigration. Once you pass this, then you will head to Baggage Claim. By the time you get here, chances are your bags will have already been taken off of the carousel and will be sitting next to it. Find your bags and head to Customs. Go to the Nothing to Declare line and once through, you're home free!! Keep heading to the Airport Exit and you will see the Couples Lounge. I've attached a pic. Once at the Lounge, you will check in, they will mark your luggage for your resort, then you are set! Belly up to the bar for a drink, use the bathroom, have a seat...but don't get too comfortable - the longest we've ever waited for a bus was about ten minutes - barely long enough to finish a drink.

    Baggage handlers will take your bags and load them on the bus. These are NOT Couples employees so have some cash ready to tip - a couple of bucks a bag. A good tip is to take lots of small bills (one and fives) and keep them in a pocket separate from your other money. Load the bus and then sit back and relax. You'll make a pit stop halfway through the ride for a potty break or more drinks. The ride itself is about an hour, hour and a half, but it's a great way to meet other couples and to see the countryside. When you arrive at your resort, tip your driver! But then Couples staff will get your bags off of the bus and your tipping is not allowed. You will be greeted with champagne and a cool towel while you get checked in then will be taken to your room. We always drop our bags at the room and head straight for the bar for a drink and the grill for a snack. We save the unpacking for later that night or the next morning.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LisaD View Post
    Would someone tell me what to expect when we get off the plane. It will be a little over a 3 hour flight to get to Jamaica. I know they will pick us up to bring us to the resort and it is suppose to be about a 2 (or3?) hour drive to the resort. This is a long time. How was the drive? Did they do anything to make it enjoyable? What should we expect? Thanks
    We just came back from CSS two weeks ago. After you get off the plane and go through immagration you will go to the couples lounge and have a red stripe beer. The ride in the van was very pleasant. Our driver gave us a detailed tour on the way to CSS. It was a very enjoyable ride. There was just us and one other couple and we had a great conversation. The ride is 1 1/2 hrs. if you go straight to the resort anywhere from 1 hour and 45 mins. to two hours if they stop. We drove staight to the resort. The driver usually asks if everyone wants to make a stop for a drink and something to eat or go straight to the resort. We chose not to stop. You will have a great time!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    163

    Default

    Hey just be grateful your flight is only three hours, ours is just over 10!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    808

    Default

    I LOVE the drive. It is relaxing and really gets me into a great state of mind. Grab a beer from the margaritaville to go on the way to the bus, and just sit back and relax. It is fun to chat with the others on the bus especially if there are newbies that have tons of questions.

    Enjoy the bus ride, it is the beginning of a great week.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    732

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    On the plane as you approach Jamaica, you'll be given a Customs form and an Immigration form. Make sure to have your passports and a pen in your carry-on. No matter what the flight attendant says, you will EACH need to fill both of them out. It used to be that for Customs, only one per Family needed to be filled out. However, Jamaica has changed this and at least when we were there in April, it hadn't gotten back to the flight attendants so there was a wait in customs while everyone filled out an extra form. One you get off the plane you'll be routed to Immigration. Once you pass this, then you will head to Baggage Claim. By the time you get here, chances are your bags will have already been taken off of the carousel and will be sitting next to it. Find your bags and head to Customs. Go to the Nothing to Declare line and once through, you're home free!! Keep heading to the Airport Exit and you will see the Couples Lounge. I've attached a pic. Once at the Lounge, you will check in, they will mark your luggage for your resort, then you are set! Belly up to the bar for a drink, use the bathroom, have a seat...but don't get too comfortable - the longest we've ever waited for a bus was about ten minutes - barely long enough to finish a drink.

    Baggage handlers will take your bags and load them on the bus. These are NOT Couples employees so have some cash ready to tip - a couple of bucks a bag. A good tip is to take lots of small bills (one and fives) and keep them in a pocket separate from your other money. Load the bus and then sit back and relax. You'll make a pit stop halfway through the ride for a potty break or more drinks. The ride itself is about an hour, hour and a half, but it's a great way to meet other couples and to see the countryside. When you arrive at your resort, tip your driver! But then Couples staff will get your bags off of the bus and your tipping is not allowed. You will be greeted with champagne and a cool towel while you get checked in then will be taken to your room. We always drop our bags at the room and head straight for the bar for a drink and the grill for a snack. We save the unpacking for later that night or the next morning.
    Love this picture Amy, We'll be there in less than 3 wks!!!!! YAY!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thank you all for your helpful input. I cannot wait to go! May 8th here we come

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,354

    Default

    LACouple ~ There is no need to grab a beer at Margaritaville. You can take extras with you from the Couples Lounge onto the bus.

    Loumona ~ CSA is about a 10 minute ride from CN. They are just down the road from each other.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    666

    Default

    Coloradojuli,
    Do they really let you take beers with you when you leave the Couples lounge? In the past we were always told we had to finish our beers before getting on the bus.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by melody View Post
    The airport is probably not what you are used to. I haven't been there in a few years so it might be updated, I'm not sure. It's not awful or anything, it's just small and I don't know the word here. It's not dirty or falling apart or anything but it's just not the same. The lounge is nice. They gave us a cool wash clothe which was nice because it was pretty hot.
    The airport has changed a lot since our first trip in 2006. It's very clean and modern now. Very nice!

    As far as cool towels in the lounge, we've never seen this in any of our three trips. Maybe the A/C is so much better now they aren't necessary?

    Bruce and Kelli
    Fort Worth, TX
    CN 2006, 2008
    CTI 2009, 2010, 2011
    CSA 2014!

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    On the plane as you approach Jamaica, you'll be given a Customs form and an Immigration form. Make sure to have your passports and a pen in your carry-on. No matter what the flight attendant says, you will EACH need to fill both of them out. It used to be that for Customs, only one per Family needed to be filled out. However, Jamaica has changed this and at least when we were there in April, it hadn't gotten back to the flight attendants so there was a wait in customs while everyone filled out an extra form.
    That's a new one! You should post a separate thread for this, Amy.

    Bruce and Kelli
    Fort Worth, TX
    CN 2006, 2008
    CTI 2009, 2010, 2011
    CSA 2014!

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceandKelli View Post
    That's a new one! You should post a separate thread for this, Amy.
    Wait... April? Last year, obviously... We were there last April, too, and didn't have to each fill out one, nor have I heard anything about this all year. Anyone???

    Bruce and Kelli
    Fort Worth, TX
    CN 2006, 2008
    CTI 2009, 2010, 2011
    CSA 2014!

  21. #21

    Default

    Does anyone from the UK have anything to add add to this thread about how the transfer operates with Thomson?

    They say 'free taxi transfer' which if it wasn't Jamaica would mean missing out completely on the lounge and going to their pre-arranged taxi straight outside.

  22. #22

    Default

    wait...let me get this straight...you can drink your beer ON the bus? Is that a typo or true?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,513

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeekitty View Post
    wait...let me get this straight...you can drink your beer ON the bus? Is that a typo or true?
    You can.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by laticsforlife View Post
    Does anyone from the UK have anything to add add to this thread about how the transfer operates with Thomson?

    They say 'free taxi transfer' which if it wasn't Jamaica would mean missing out completely on the lounge and going to their pre-arranged taxi straight outside.
    Whoever you book through (Virgin, Thomson or your local travel agent)you will go into the Couples Lounge and use their transport. When you get through Customs someone will ask you which resort you are going to and point you towards the Couples Lounge. If you miss them, just turn left after Customs and you will see the Lounge straight ahead. They will look after you.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    240

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceandKelli View Post
    Wait... April? Last year, obviously... We were there last April, too, and didn't have to each fill out one, nor have I heard anything about this all year. Anyone???

    We were there June, 2010 and only did one per family.

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